Mark your calendars for this year’s Maine Maple Sunday Weekend, March 26-27, 2022. So, to help you plan your getaway, here is your guide to maple sugar houses in Maine.
Celebrating its 39th season, the Maine Maple Producers Association welcomes visitors to tour dozens of maple sugar houses across the state at this annual event. Most sugar shacks offer samples and demonstrations. But some add unique maple treats, music, games, and activities to up-the-ante for a fun-filled day of exploring sugar farms throughout the state.
A morning staple for most Mainers, maple syrup complements the breakfast table at the Berry Manor Inn frequently. But, more and more, maple syrup’s rich, complex flavor appears in recipes for cookies, muffins, candy, breads, main entrees, and more. Pour a little over some creamy vanilla ice cream for a tasty treat you won’t soon forget.
Sugar maple trees love the chill of the northeast. Producing sap once Mother Nature’s wintery grip relaxes, usually in mid- to late-March, sap buckets are a common site around the state. But because it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup through a labor-intense sugaring-off process, real maple syrup is a luxury and worth every penny. But understanding the grading system can be a little confusing.
Deciphering Maple Syrup Grades
Maple syrup producers grade their syrup to educate consumers about the color, taste, and best uses for each grade. Once graded A, B, or commercial grade, the system has been updated to reduce confusion. Now maple syrup is all Grade A, but with distinguishing taste notes and purposes.
- Grade A, Golden Delicate Taste: Perfect for waffles, pancakes, and French toast.
- Grade A, Amber Rich Taste: Still ideal for breakfast, but with a slightly stronger and deeper flavor.
- Grade A, Dark Robust Taste: Used primarily in baking or as a dessert topping.
- Grade A, Very Dark Strong Taste: The most intense maple flavor of all grades, great for baking or folks with a real sweet tooth.
Mid-Coast Maine Sugar Shacks
Three notable sugar shacks located in the mid-coast region of Maine are within an easy drive of our inn in Rockland. They will certainly whet your whistle for all things maple. Make plans to visit all three and bring home some maple treats to enjoy later.
- Rock Acer Works, 626 Barnestown Road, Hope ME
- BlackOwl Maple Products, 21 Woodchuck Way, Jefferson ME
- Sweet Woods Farm, 144 Lynch Road, Newcastle ME
The Maine Maple Producers provide a comprehensive map of all participating sugar shacks for Maine Maple Sunday.
Maine’s Award-Winning Hilltop Boilers
You may want to travel a little further afield to visit the award-winning Hilltop Boilers in Newfield. Designated the “best maple syrup in Maine,” their prized syrup is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maple sugar products. Melt-in-your-mouth maple candy, luscious maple lip balm, maple mustard, and a decadent maple cream produced here definitely belong in your shopping bag when you leave. And, if you’re planning a wedding anytime soon, be sure to check out their line of maple wedding favors, sure to be a hit at your reception.
Make It a Maple Weekend Getaway
Pure maple syrup is one of life’s real breakfast pleasures, right up there with freshly brewed coffee, sizzling bacon, and fluffy flapjacks. So, we make sure we have plenty on hand to pour over pancakes, French toast, or waffles. If you’re a fan of this golden nectar, use your guide to maple sugar shacks in Maine to shop for the best. Plan to make it a maple weekend getaway and book your favorite room at our bed and breakfast in Rockland, Maine.
Published: February 2022